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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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March 3, 2006     Cape Gazette
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March 3, 2006
 

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28 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, March 3 - Monday, March 6, 2006 Plans for Oak Orchard sewer system take shape Users of Sussex County's get their chance to comment on newest public sewer system will proposed rates when County Freedom of Information Act topic at Legislative Day The League of Women Voters of Delaware annual Legislative Day will be Wednesday, March 22, at the Sheraton Dover Hotel and Conference Center. The cosponsor this year is the News Journal. The theme is Openness in Government: Looking for the Sunshine. The pro- gram will begin with a panel discussion, followed by a luncheon and a workshop. A panel representing legislative,judicial, media and citizens groups, will discuss the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), how FOIA-related laws are used to access information, what they restrict and how these laws may be threatened. The panel includes David Ledford, The News Journal executive editor; Carl C. Danberg, Delaware attorney general, Drewery Fennell, ACLU of Delaware exec- utive director; Rep. Robert J. Valihura Jr., R-Wilmington; Mary Jane Mallonee, Widener University School of Law librarian; and Superior Court President Judge James T. Vaughn. Ellen Wasfi of the League of Women Voters will be the moderator. A question -and-answer period will follow. Peter Weitzel, coordinator for the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, will be the featured speaker at the luncheon with legislators. Following that will be. a workshop on the Freedom of Information Act conducted by John Flaherty, lobbyist for Common Cause of Delaware, and Deputy Attorney General W. Michael Tupman. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.; the panel presentation is at 10 a.m. The luncheon is at 12:15 p.m., and the workshop is at 1:30 p.m. The panel discussion and workshop are free and open to the public; prereg- istration is required. Call 302-571-8948 or email at lwvde@voicenet- net.com to register. There is a charge of $20 for the luncheon. to 00'ne Jewe(nj, ww.funtojine.com First Street Station 70 Rehoboth Avenue (302) 227-3770 Rehoboth Beach, DE OPEN DAILY Sussex Continued from page 26 Department of Transportation; Gary Tonge as Sussex County's new Director of Utility Permits. Tonge, who previously managed the phone system in the county's Information Systems department, took his new position February 16 and brings with him more than two decades of field and managerial experience work- ing in the 'telecommunications industry. He will oversee the issuance of permits for new sewer connections, as well as manage sewer district boundary expan- sions. "We're just trying to plan ahead now so that we can manage the growth Sussex County is experiencing, and will continue to experience in the foreseeable future," said Izzo. Additional change to come In the next four to six weeks, Stickels will recommend that County Council begin advertising for a new position to be created -- Deputy County Administrator - to eventually take the reigns of man- aging the county government. Stickels said the shuffle of duties and hiring of new staff are necessary steps in the evolution of a county government that today employees nearly 650 people serving a growing population exceeding 160,000 residents, many of them transplanted from surrounding regions. "In addition to bringing on more staff so that we may ade- quately meet the needs of a grow- ing county, Sussex County also has to have leaders in key posi- tions to help those new hires get up to speed and learn our opera- tions," said Stickels. "The reality is that in the coming weeks, months and next few years, this county .is going to begin an inevitable transition, one in which our senior-most employees will begin taking their retirements and leave their posts and duties to a new generation of staffers." At least 10 department or divi- sion heads, including Stickels, are or will be eligible for retirement in the next year. Only one so far, Collins, has expressed the intent to retire. But Stickels said it's incumbent upon county govern- ment to plan ahead and be pre- pared now for the eventual depar- tures. "I want to make sure now that the Sussex County govern- ment is doing all it can to ensure a smooth transition, to bring in peo- ple with varied perspectives, backgrounds and experiences, so that in the end, our employers - the taxpayers - see a well-oiled machine continuing to serve their interests efficiently, effectively and seemingly effortlessly," said Stickels. TAN IN YOUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND OPEN ? DAYS A WEEK NDS IN THE SUN 2 toeations: Lewu Council holds a public hearing later next month. Sussex County officials today introduced an ordinance that pro- poses the first-ever assessment rates and service charges for users in the Oak Orchard Sewer District, a $12.5 million public wastewater project authorized by referendum in February 2000. The system, which will serve approximately 900 users, is expected to be opera- tional by April 1. Public comment will be taken on the proposed rates at a public hearing during the Sussex County Council meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28, in council chambers in Georgetown. Under the proposed rate struc- ture, district users would pay $4.46 per front foot for the assess- ment portion of their sewer bill; in addition, users would pay an annual service charge of $224 for each equivalent dwelling unit, or EDU. The typical user, with a 75- foot lot assessment and one EDU, would see an annual sewer bill of $558.98. County Finance Director David Baker said the rates are in line with what voters approved in the 2000 referendum. Voters ,/uthor- ized assessments up to $4.94 per foot, and annual service charges of $225. Users in the new district also approved a one-time connection fee of $1,100, but Baker said that fee will not be necessary thanks in large part to nearly 60 percent of the project's financing coming from grants. The proposed service charges and assessment rates will be enough to cover the balance of the project's cost, which will be paid for through 20- and 40-year low-interest bonds, said Baker. l We would like to know your name .... And we would like you to know ours... iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiii !i!i!i!!!i!i!!!!!!!i!!!i!i!iiiii!iii!!!- Business Tax Returns !iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Individual Tax Returns i!iiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiii!i!iiiiiii ....... !iiiiiii!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!!!i!i!i!i ! 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